Vauxhall’s smaller diesel makes a big impression in Zafira Tourer
- Credit: Vauxhall
A new 1.6-litre turbo diesel in Vauxhall's Zafira Tourer makes it cleaner, green and leaner, says Iain Dooley of the Press Association.
A stalwart of the medium-size people-carrier market for years, Vauxhall's Zafira was an affordable, practical and easy-to-drive choice in a rapidly expanding market. All good qualities to possess for an expanding family.
However, the increasing popularity of such cars over the likes of family hatchbacks meant buyers sought greater levels of comfort and refinement. As such, any attempt to pitch a car as a utility holdall was often shunned in favour of plush cabins and premium-level amenities.
Vauxhall's decision to add 'Tourer' to the Zafira's name was more than a marketing gimmick. It also added an enlarged cabin, a more sophisticated appearance and many more upmarket creature comforts.
The latest chapter in the Zafira Tourer's evolution concerns what's under the bonnet. In an age when low fuel consumption and emissions form the basis of countless buying decisions, taking the cleaner, greener approach is no longer optional for car-makers.
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With people-carriers like the Zafira appealing to an increasing number of business-users – a practical and spacious cabin is just as useful for accommodating colleagues and clients as it is teenagers – keeping tax payments to a minimum is an important consideration.
The Zafira now benefits from Vauxhall's latest generation of cleaner, greener diesel engines. Much progress has been made in recent years, resulting in a reduction in engine size while increasing power output, all without impacting economy or emissions.
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It's called 'downsizing' and while the concept of a 1.6-litre diesel engine powering a large car might sound underwhelming, the reality is much brighter. This engine is part of a family of units set to revitalise and modernise Vauxhall's entire line-up in the years to come.
And looking to the future, boasting 136 horsepower and 236lb.ft of torque, this new 1.6-litre turbo diesel is already EU6 compliant – good news on the emissions front. Supporting this green approach is an impressive 109g/km CO2 and an official 68.9mpg rating.
On the road the 1.6-litre diesel unit is everything Vauxhall claims. The company worked hard to minimise noise and vibration from the engine – it doesn't sound like a traditional diesel motor even pushed hard. In everyday driving this 1.6-litre unit is probably all you'll need and convincing if you want to pay less tax and fewer visits to the pumps.
Buyers get to choose from Exclusiv, the business user-friendly Tech Line and upmarket SE. All receive front and rear parking sensors, USB music player connectivity, front fog lights and trip computer, with Tech Line adding sat-nav, alloy wheels, Bluetooth and rear privacy glass. SE boasts climate control, an electric parking brake, leather-trimmed steering wheel and a facility to transform the normally seven-seat layout into a more luxurious four-seat one to increase the available cabin space.
With the inclusion of Vauxhall's latest 1.6-litre diesel engine, the already competent Zafira Touring offers buyers a more economical and lower-cost option within the burgeoning people-carrier market. Delivering family hatch levels of economy and emissions yet boasting greater levels of flexibility and versatility, this Zafira is proof that size isn't everything. At least, not in the engine department